This speaks to one of the biggest internal conflicts I have when parenting: How do I discourage unwanted behavior in my daughter while still maintaining the privilege to engage in that same behavior myself? Stella, please do not eat an entire sleeve of Girl Scout thin mint cookies at once; disregard the fact that there is a sleeve missing from the box already and that mama is dusted with a fine layer of chocolate crumbs and is chanting MORE SUGAR MORE SUGAR.
(Out of a concern for maintaining at least a minimum standard of dignity for this blog, I won't address whether this same internal conflict extends to the behavior of nose-picking.)
So we ordered these cookie cutters as a birthday present for Stella's friend, and the company sent me the 'A' and the 'I' cookie cutters and announced that the rest were on back order and would be delivered in several weeks. We wrapped up the two cookie cutters we had and gave them to the kid, thereby earning ourselves a coveted slot in the finals of the World's Feeblest Gift competition. Everything is context, though -- had we given the gift to a three-toed sloth, it would have been perfect.
Speaking of letters, Stella is learning to write these days, and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I've used Stella's obsession with breastfeeding to help her learn. Stella has always been very interested in nursing, both in doing it herself and watching other people. Many a new mother, trying to discreetly feed their infant beneath a blanket, has been outed by Stella enthusiastically shouting out "LOOK! THAT LADY IS NURSING HER BABY WITH HER BREASTS!" Me, I think discreet breastfeeding is overrated and don't care what's visible. And as long as I'm making declarations that place me out of the mainstream, I'd like to go on public record as saying the Twilight books are weak. And vampires are not sexy.
Stella likes to watch Baby W nurse, and being a helpful big sister, offers to assist. "Please may I hold your hot breast full of milk?" she asks. You may not. And do me a favor, Stella, don't google that phrase, ok?
Stella loved nursing and didn't always pay much attention to whom the breasts were attached. My sister once climbed in the bath with baby Stella to help her wash. Stella gave careful consideration to my sister's undressed torso, then lunged for the nipple with an open mouth. My sister's still traumatized.
Right, so I'm capitalizing on Stella's interest in breastfeeding to help her learn the shapes of letters. We describe the letters in terms of how many breasts they have. The letter P has one breast, the letter B has two, the letter R has one breast and a leg, etc. We are definitely going to get a call home from the teacher when she starts kindergarten.
You do not want to know what body part we used to describe the shape of a Q.
Sure, this whole approach where letter shapes are likened to body parts is a bit unconventional, but Stella is quickly learning to write. Now I just need to get her signed up for Girl Scouts, because I'm out of cookies once again.